Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Black Sheep: through the eyes of a first-timer

My class schedule this term is, well, insane as usual. Except now, two days a week, I get out of class at 7pm instead of 2pm. Just imagine how it feels to be learning biomedical topics for 8 hours in a row- or maybe don't...The point is, a friend of mine suggested we go out for dinner after our night exam the other day and I was very excited at the prospect of spending my first school night trying the local cuisine. We decided on Black Sheep since I've been hearing left and right how good it is. I know the standard is to go there for brunch, but their dinner menu looked delicious as well, so off we went.

Let me just say, I was not exactly prepared for how cozy it was. I kind of imagined a more mainstream restaurant vibe, not a little nook with dimmed lighting and wooded benches. It was very sweet and I'd definitely suggest it as a date night spot. I was also unprepared for how small it was. Just us opening the door made the whole place cold for a few minutes. The waitresses were pretty laid back and - oh! can't forget: the salt and pepper shakers are THE CUTEST things ever.

But on to the food. I wasn't in the mood for a sandwich - I wanted something hearty and comfy...so I suppose the atmosphere whet my appetite because my stomach was telling my brain to ignore the prices and go with whatever I wanted. We started by sharing the sweet potato samosas and I will say that the pastry dough was perfectly flaky and amazing. The filling had a good flavor, but I like my samosas spicy, which these were not. The kicker, though, was the apple chutney. It was like a curried applesauce and I could it it straight up any day. My friend was going to ask if we could buy it to go.

For my main course I was debating between the focaccia with goat cheese and the pot roast - until the waitress told us the special for the evening: pork chop with pumpkin and artichoke heart orzo. At $13, it really was a steal. The flavors were wonderful - the chop had an apple smoked flavor to it and the orzo, although a tad over-cooked, was sauced nicely. The pumpkin added a certain richness to it and I very much enjoyed the fact that they didn't skimp on the artichoke hearts and had taken the time to de-brine them a bit. I also ordered a side of their corn pudding. A little on the sweet side for me, and the custard had broken because there was too much liquid. I should probably mention, also, that the chop was cooked perfectly! It was still juicy and succulent, which isn't easy with pork. And the cut was nice and large with a gorgeous frenched bone.

While dining we saw one of the infamous "battleships" the place is known for. If you are unfamiliar, they are basically enormo subs. I am going back for sure to try one of those - but I need some people to join me; if interested, just write me a comment! The gentleman seated next to us ordered the pot roast so I was able to see that it looked rich and delicious with a nice hearty sauce. Their banana pudding also seemed to be quite popular, so I'll have to try that as well.

All in all, the ambiance was excellent and the food did not disappoint in neither its flavor nor its creativity. I left Black Sheep with yet another excellent restaurant to recommend to others and, for the first time since I've moved here, feeling like a local.

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